Livvi-Karelian language

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Native toRussia, Finland
Regionbetween Lake Ladoga and Lake Onega, northward of Svir River, Karelia
Native speakers
14,100–25,000 (2000–2010)[1]
Latin (Karelian alphabet)
Cyrillic (Russia)[citation needed]
Official status
Recognised minority
language in
Language codes
ISO 639-3olo
Lang Status 60-DE.svg
Olonetsian is classified as Definitely Endangered by the UNESCO Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger (2010)
Tatiana Boiko speaks about the Livvi-Karelian dialect of the Karelian language and the VepKar corpus, with subtitles in English. KarRC RAS, 2018.

Livvi-Karelian[4] (Alternate names: Liygi, Livvi, Livvikovian, Olonets, Southern Olonetsian, Karelian; Russian: ливвиковский язык)[4][5] is a dialect of the Karelian language, which is a Finnic language of the Uralic family,[6] spoken by Olonets Karelians (self-appellation livvi, livgilaizet), traditionally inhabiting the area between Ladoga and Onega lakes, northward of Svir River. The name "Olonets Karelians" is derived from the territory inhabited, Olonets Krai, named after the town of Olonets, named after the Olonka River.


Before World War II, Livvi-Karelian was spoken both in Russia and in Finland, in the easternmost part of Finnish Karelia. After Finland was forced to cede large parts of Karelia to the USSR after the war, the Finnish Livvi-Karelian population was resettled in Finland. Today there are still native speakers of Livvi-Karelian living scattered throughout Finland, but all areas in which Livvi-Karelian remains a community language are found in Russia.

Speakers of Livvi-Karelian may be found mainly in Olonetsky, Pryazhinsky, Pitkyarantsky, and partly Suoyarvsky districts of the Republic of Karelia.[7]

Livvi-Karelian long remained relatively uninfluenced by the Russian language despite the large influx of Russians following the founding of Saint Petersburg in 1703.[citation needed]



Front Back
rnd. urnd. rnd. urnd.
Close i y u
Mid e ø o
Open æ ɑ


Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
plain pal.
Plosive voiceless p t k
voiced b d ɡ
Affricate voiceless t͡s t͡ʃ
voiced d͡ʒ
Fricative voiceless (f) s ʃ (x) h
voiced z ʒ
Nasal m n (ŋ)
Approximant ʋ l j
Rhotic r
  • Consonants may also occur as geminated or long [Cː].
  • Sounds /f, x/ are commonly heard from Russian loanwords.
  • /h/ can have allophones of [x] or [χ].
  • /n/ is heard as [ŋ] when preceding /k/ or /ɡ/.
  • Palatalization [ʲ] may occur among different dialects when consonants are preceding vowels /i, y/.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Karjalainen, Heini; Puura, Ulriikka; Grünthal, Riho; Kovaleva, Svetlana (2013). "Karelian in Russia. ELDIA Case-Specific Report". Studies in European Language Diversity. ELDIA. 26. ISSN 2192-2403.
  2. ^ Change in the regulation by the president of Finland about European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, 27.11.2009 (in Finnish)
  3. ^ "Законодательные акты: О государственной поддержке карельского, вепсского и финского языков в Республике Карелия". Archived from the original on 11 October 2017. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
  4. ^ a b "Livvi-Karelian". Ethnologue. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
  5. ^ Moseley, Christopher (2007). Encyclopedia of the world's endangered languages. Psychology Press. p. 263. ISBN 9780203645659.
  6. ^ "Language Family Trees, Uralic, Finnic". Ethnologue. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
  7. ^ "Karelian Language", at the website about livvic culture
  8. ^ Sarhimaa, Anneli (2022). Karelian. Oxford Guides to the World's Languages (1st ed.): Oxford University Press. pp. 274–275.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location (link)

External links[edit]